Final Determination in the Widow's Pension of Hester Lancaster for the Veteran's Pension of Abram Lancaster, 33rd USCT December 10, 1908
Notes: 1. I have no explanation for the card like quality of the above.
2. Notice that after all the information in this case and the special examiner still needed to be reviewed by the chief of the law division J. W. Cuddy.
3. This case is a good illustration why African American pension cases were so difficult look what had to happen: a. In the beginning Abram Lancaster, veteran of the 33rd USCT, had to prove his "disability of the breast." This took a while because neither the medical record or the physicians would affirm this. However he finally got a pension for $12 a month due to general ill health and probable cancer of the tongue.
b. Hester Lancaster, his wife, had an even more difficult position to prove. Because Abram Lancaster was married pre War of the Rebellion he would need to either have divorced his first wife, Jane Nattiel, or not have lived with her after December 14, 1866 to recognize the second marriage as a valid legal marriage. It made no difference that he was a free man before the War of the Rebellion and that the wedding was sanctioned by a priest. His first wife Jane Nattiel was a slave and that determined that the marriage must be validated by the date of December 14, 1866 (Daniel v Sams 17 Florida - See General Saxton's Marriage Rules). While this may sound strange it may be reconciled because of the cohersive potential of the experience for Jane Nattiel. Hester's marriage to Abram Lancaster had more questions because they did not live together but apparently they never divorced either.